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---HOW DID I COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT?---
I first played this lovely little game, just after christmas, my whole family (i have 6 Siblings who are grown up) had come to visit my parents home where i live to spend Christmas and New Year together, and my Sister brought out a strange little banana, it looked to me like a pointless and small cushion! but she then unzipped it and spilled out a load of tiles on to the living room floor.
They had letters on them, and then began to show us how to play.
---HOW DOES IT WORK?---
Well, to start with, you get 144 tiles in a pack, and you spread them out in to a bundle across your floor or table, and the next step depends on how many players you have, with 2-3 players, everyone gets 21 tiles each, with five or six players, you get 15 each, and for 7-8 players (which is the recommended maximum) you get 11 each, bear in mind that everyone must have their tiles so that you can't see the letters!.
Once everyone has their tiles and are ready, you will then shout "split!" and then every turns over their tiles, you will then assort your words in to a similar way of what you would do with scrabble, words intersecting each other, so lets say you have God, and have two other tiles with O and G, you could put them next to the D, and spell Dog, and so on. Once a player has used all of their tiles, they will say "Peel", every player must now take another tile. (Players can rearrange tiles as much as they want to)
If a player comes to a point in which they really can not use anything else to form more words, they must say "Dump", this means you will put one letter back, and take three more out of the pile in the middle.
Play will continue until all of the tiles in the middle are gone, then once someone uses up every single one of their tiles, they will yell "BANANAS!!", the play will stop, and as long as every word checks out and is legitimate (it is handy to have a dictionary with you) then they will win the game. But if there is a word(s) that is not legitimate, then they will be referred to as a "Rotten Banana), all of their tiles are returned to the pile in the middle for the other players to use, and they are out of the game until the next one starts.
---WOULD I BUY THIS GAME?---
Yes! that is the answer! I am yet to obtain this game but I will soon hopefully get a hold of it! we probably played 10+ games of Bananagrams and I did NOT want to stop playing! eventually i gave up wanting to play when other family members moaned at me!
In my time I've spent rather a lot of time playing games from Scrabble to Monopoly via Trivial Pursuit and the lesser known Dotty Dinosaurs, be it during interminable Christmases as a child - telly was banned, or with my own kids on rainy days. I've got to say, many board games leave me... bored, if you will excuse the pun.
Not this game, it's great!
Banagrams is a game that is manages to be deceptively simple to learn how to play whilst working on lots of levels and providing plenty of challenge and fun. The product itself is pretty well as pictured above; you get 144 letter tiles in a banana shaped pencil case which has a little tag with a summary of the rules which are explained in greater length in a leaflet inside. You can expect to pay anything from £8-£16 for the game, I am reliably informed that Father Christmas snapped it up for the lower figure on Amazon, where it seems to consistently appear amongst the most sold toys. It's actually good value in my opinion given how addictive and interesting the game actually is.
Both the tiles and 22cm long case are really good quality, the 2cm squared inlaid tiles are very solid plastic that is a pleasure to handle and that you just now is going to last for years. Game play starts with the letters, known as the "bunch" being placed face down on the table. If 2-4 people are playing you take 15 tiles, 5-6 and you take 11 tiles each if there are more than 7 of you. I've mainly played with 3-4 people, you need really to have some sound knowledge of spelling to be able to play, despite the manufacturer's guidelines I think your average 5 year old would struggle to play by themselves, the game really comes into its own for a fairly confident reader and it's fun for adults too - even the most anti board game ones, like me.
The twist in this game is that everyone plays at the same time, meaning there's no turn taking as such and each player makes their own words. Tiles are laid out like a crossword to make words horizontally and vertically and must interconnect, so for example you could make the word "table" and have the word "eggs" going down. You can make any configuration you like with the tiles you have.
In the main game (there are variations as I shall explain) when you have no tiles left you must say "peel" and take a tile, as must everyone else and if you have a letter that you don't want you can say "dump" and put it back in the bunch, taking 3 more tiles. Play ends when there are fewer tiles in the bunch than players and the first player with no tiles left after that is the winner, assuming all the words they wrote are correct, ie in the dictionary and not proper nouns.
I like the fact that playing this really gets your brain thinking, and for younger children it really helps them understand the challenges of spelling in English, like the different sounds two vowels can make - eg "ai" is "pain" but also "pair". When playing with children we do tend to help them with the spelling if they need help, and also have a dictionary to hand for any differences in opinion on the validity of a word. I assume that the tiles take into account the frequency of letters in the English language - there are lots of "E"'s and only one "X", but playing is certainly a reminder of how complex spelling in our language actually is. Everyone playing at once really does make things interesting and I like the fact that it's not necessarily the best or most prolific speller who wins, it's down to chance as well as skill and really is anyone's game! You could play one game which could last from 5-15 minutes or spend hours playing "best of 10" or more, it really is an open ended game which we all enjoy.
As well as being fun, Banagrams is very portable and adaptable, you can play shortened versions, eg whilst waiting to eat a restaurant you can just take 21 tiles each and designate the winner as the first to use all the tiles. You can also play the game like solitaire - my 8 year old really likes this way of playing and will make huge layouts of words with the tiles which we have also used for making learning spellings for tests more interesting.
I really like this game which fast became one of our favourites as soon as we got it and which is played with often, I think it was a great buy. I have yet to investigate the various puzzle books and the app that comes with this game, or the other connected fruit games (there is an apple and pear case as well as this), but this one is certainly a winner. Highly recommended by us.
We were given Bananagrams by some American relatives for Christmas, who told us that they play it all the time over there and that it's really popular. I was sceptical as I'd never heard of it, let alone seen the little banana packages on shop shelves! But it fast became our favourite game to play over the festive season.
So what is Bananagrams? It's kind of like a cross between a crossword and scrabble, with a little healthy competition thrown in for good measure.
Eash player starts with 15 tiles and then proceeds to make their own little scrabble board from their letters, trying to use as many of them as possible. The competition comes in as you have to beat the other players, taking more tiles when they do and switching ones you can't find a use for, until eventually there are no more tiles left to take from the pile and the winner has used all their tiles up.
It's hard trying to concentrate on what you're doing but still have to keep an eye on everybody else as well, but that all adds to the fun and the tension!
As an ex-primary school teacher I can see that this would make a great game for improving literacy too!
The only downside to this game is that, although it would be perfect for a travel game as it comes in a very small package rather than a huge box like most boardgames do, you do need a lot of space to play it.
All in all this is a great little game, that doesn't take long to play and will definitely be on my shopping list for next Christmas for stocking fillers.
we played this on new yrs eve and its really good, i was very sceptical, but its a great learning experience for children, really makes them figure things out on thier own.
Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and that is certainly true of this game.
What is it?
Bananagrams is a word game which is passed on the idea of a crossword each player takes 21 letter tiles and makes them into words as quickly as is possible in a crossword format.
The product is 144 tiles and comes in a Banana pouch a bit like a pencil case which makes this game an ideal travel game as it isn't very big indeed it is evidentially 6cmby21cmby6cm so easy to store when not playing as well as good to take away.
How do you play?
The game is really clever in that it is so straight forward and simple. The letter tiles are all turned face down and each player takes 21 once every one has taken their tiles then the game commences.
The idea is to use up all your tiles and make them into a crossword once you have used all your existing tiles you shout peel and take another until all are gone you can also dump a letter but if you do you have to take three to replace that one.
This is a really fast paced fun game that is very easy to pick up and very addictive
Bananagrams is made by winning moves and can be purchased directly by them at www.shopwinningmoves.co.uk as well as at Amazon it varies in price between £9.99 and £15.00.
I popped to see my Sister-in-law yesterday as they had returned from Holiday they go this game out at 5 and we were still playing at seven only stopping as I had to collect hubby from work!
My top tip here would be to check spelling as my nephew has a habit of spelling the words as they sound or to fit letters he has!
You can also play the game by yourself a little like solitaire and eithier by playing a time game or by trying to use every tile.
The game is truly addictive and really great fun plus of course it is a great educational game as well as it is teaching you spelling and increasing your vocabulary at the same time. I have to say that I feel my Sister-in-law and I will be wasting many happy hours getting very competitive over this game.
I really rate this game so for great addictive fun get yourself one of these or indeed the Apple or Pear version however note that the apple or pear version have less letters.
I've always been someone who enjoys a board game or interesting game and got this game for Christmas from a friend and have found it pretty good fun and something a bit different.
Bananagrams looks like a fun game even before you start playing it. It comes in a bright yellow banana bag which attacted me to it straight away. I think the packaging for a good product is half the battle as it draws your customer in to buy. It is small enough to be easily stored too and take away as a travel game.
The rules for this game are relatively simple which is handy as you don't have to think too much about it. The only pieces you play with are many different lettered tiles. Unlike some games there is no time limit in this. The only time is how long it takes to use up all the tiles. Each player is given twenty one tiles to begin the game and when you have used all their tiles you have to pick up until no more tiles remain. You have to play your tiles on your own individual crossword and this really means that any age can play as they can make their own words that fit their age range.
I think this is a great game and really gets your brain working overtime. It is a great little game to play to while away half hour or so as the games are quite short in length so you won't get bored. This game will keep you challenged throughout.
The idea of this game is to build what is basically your own crossword out of 21 lettered tiles which you take from the banana shaped bag. All players build their crosswords at the same time until someone uses all their letters. They shout 'Bananas' and everyone takes a tile from the banana which they must accomodate in their crossword. This continues until all the tiles are gone. The winner is the one who then uses their last tile first.
This is an absolutely superb game and i say that in spite of not having won a game yet. It is fast so you don't need to commit hours to it. It is completely addictive so you will end up spending hours on it anyway.
The handy little Banana shaped bag makes this really convenient to transport and use to fill a few minutes here and there. No fussing with big boards, lots of complex rules or thousands of compontent parts. Spot on i'd say.
I was looking for different Christmas presents for a difficult-to-buy-for friend, but one that enjoys the occasional evening of board games and always beats me at Scrabble! I came across Bananagrams. The first thing that attracted me was the bright yellow banana bag it came in! Secondly, the fact that it was small in size, therefore easily stored and easily transportable for use as a travel game too. And finally, it was a word game that I knew would grab the attention of my friend.
As for the game play, the rules are simple. The only playing pieces are letter tiles. There is no time limit, just the time it takes to use up all the tiles. Each player starts with 21 tiles and continues to pick up when he/she has used all their tiles, until no tiles remain. The beauty of the game is that you each play your tiles on your own individual crossword, which means that any age can play, making up words that are appropriate to their own age group. Basically, my young nephews are as likely to win with less vocabulary as I struggle to come up with a 7-letter! Games are quite short, often 5 minutes, again quite good for a travel game, or a waiting-for-lunch game, but exciting too as tiles run short and you try to beat your opponent to the finish!
The name came from the saying "The anagram game that will drive you bananas!" - hence BANANAGRAMS. Designed by a family for their own use, whose friends told them it was too good to keep to themselves... and they were right!